Skip to main content
×
Home

Morpho-functional analysis of the mastoid region of the extinct South American mustelid †Stipanicicia pettorutii

  • Marcos D. Ercoli (a1) (a2)
Abstract
ABSTRACT

The morphology of the mastoid region in predators is informative about the hunting strategies and capacity of carrying prey. The purpose of this research was to describe the mastoid region and reconstruct the associated musculature of Stipanicicia pettorutii Reig, 1956, a Pleistocene weasel with a distinctive morphology compared to its living relatives, and to make inferences about its predatory abilities. Galictis, a living weasel closely related to Stipanicicia, as well as other carnivorans, were used as comparative models. The muscle insertions identified in Stipanicicia presented a similar or larger development than Galictis. The insertion area of the muscles obliquus capitis cranialis, longissimus capitis, sternocephalicus pars mastoidea and cleidocephalicus pars mastoidea were found to be markedly developed and in a lateralised position with respect to the atlanto–occipital joint in hyaenids and mustelids, and especially in Stipanicicia, suggesting powerful lateral flexion and rotation movements in the fossil. The larger degree of advancement of the mastoid process in mustelids, and secondary in felids, would allow a powerful ventral flexion of the head. Stipanicicia would have exhibited powerful lateral movements and retraction of the head and neck, over restricted extension movements and, therefore, would have been a weasel specialised in subjugating and carrying prey of a relatively large size.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Morpho-functional analysis of the mastoid region of the extinct South American mustelid †Stipanicicia pettorutii
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Morpho-functional analysis of the mastoid region of the extinct South American mustelid †Stipanicicia pettorutii
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Morpho-functional analysis of the mastoid region of the extinct South American mustelid †Stipanicicia pettorutii
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Alix M. E. 1876. Memoire sur la myologie du putois (Putorius communis, Cuv.). Journal de Zoologie, Paris 5, 153–88.
Antón M., Salesa M. J., Pastor J. F., Sanchez I. M., Fraile S. & Morales J. 2004. Implications of the mastoid anatomy of larger extant felids for the evolution and predatory behaviour of sabretoothed cats (Mammalia, Carnivora, Felidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 140, 207–21.
Anyonge W. 1996. Microwear on canines and killing behavior in large carnivores: saber function in Smilodon fatalis . Journal of Mammalogy 77, 1059–67.
Azara F. D. 1802. Apuntalamientos para la historia natural de los quadrúpedos del Paraguay y Río de la Plata. Madrid: La viuda de Ibarra.
Barone R. 1967. La myologie du lion (Panthera leo). Mammalia 31, 459514.
Barone R. 1976. Anatomie, comparee des mammíteres domestiques. Paris: Vigot Freres Editeurs.
Barone R. & Deutsch H. 1953. Myologie des membres du furet (Putorius furo). Bulletin de la Société des sciences vétérinaires et de médecine comparée de Lyon 55, 445–54.
Ben-David M., Pellis S. M. & Pellis V. C. 1991. Feeding habits and predatory behaviour in the marbled polecat (Vormela peregusna syriaca): and prey behaviour. Behaviour 118, 127–43.
Berman W. D. 1994. Los carnívoros continentales (Mammalia, Carnivora) del Cenozoico en la provincia de Buenos Aires. PhD Thesis, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina.
Biknevicius A. R. & Van Valkenburgh B. 1996. Design for killing: craniodental adaptations of predators. In Gittleman J. (ed.) Carnivore behavior, ecology and evolution, Vol. 2, 393428. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
Björk P. R. 1970. The Carnivora of the Hagerman local fauna (late Pliocene) of southwestern Idaho. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 60, 154.
Cabrera A. & Yepes J. 1940. Mamíferos Sud-Americanos (vida, costumbres y descripción). Buenos Aires: Compañía Argentina de Editores.
Cione A. L. & Tonni E. P. 2005. Bioestratigrafía basada en mamíferos del Cenozoico superior de la provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Relatorio del XVI Congreso Geológico Argentino, Abstracts, 183200.
Clark T. W., Anderson E., Douglas C. & Strickland M. 1987. Martes americana. Mammalian Species 289, 18.
Cuvier G. & Laurillard M. 1849. Recueil de Planches de Myologie. Paris: Dusacq.
Dalquest W. W. & Harvey J. R. 1951. Behavior of young grisons in captivity. American Midland Naturalist 46, 359–66.
Davis D. D. 1964. The giant panda: a morphological study of evolutionary mechanisms. Fieldiana: Zoology 3, 1339.
Derting T. L. 1989. Prey selection and foraging characteristics of least weasels (Mustela nivalis) in the laboratory. American Midland Naturalist 122, 394400.
Dücker V. G. 1968. Beobachtungen am kleinen grison, Galictis (Grisonella) cuja (Molina). Zeitschrift für Saugetierkunde 33, 288–97.
Eisenberg J. 1989. Mammals of the Neotropics, vol. 1. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Elissamburu A. 2004. Análisis morfométrico y morfofuncional del esqueleto apendicular de Paedotherium (Mammalia, Notoungulata). Ameghiniana 41, 363–80.
Elissamburu A., Dondas A. & De Santis L. 2011. Morfometría de las paleocuevas de la “Fm.” Chapadmalal y su asignación a Actenomys (Rodentia), Paedotherium (Notoungulata) y otros mamíferos fósiles hospedantes. Mastozoología Neotropical 18, 227–38.
Emmons L. H. 1990. Neotropical rainforest mammals. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Ercoli M. D. 2015. Morfología del aparato músculo-esqueletario del postcráneo de los mustélidos (Carnivora, Mammalia) fósiles y vivientes de América del Sur: implicancias funcionales en un contexto filogenético. PhD Thesis, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina.
Ercoli M. D., Echarri S., Busker F., Álvarez A., Morales M. M. & Turazzini G. F. 2013. The functional and phylogenetic implications of the myology of the lumbar region, tail, and hind limbs of the lesser grison (Galictis cuja). Journal of Mammalian Evolution 20, 309–36.
Ercoli M. D., Álvarez A., Stefanini M. I., Busker F. & Morales M. M. 2015. Muscular anatomy of the forelimbs of the lesser grison (Galictis cuja), and a functional and phylogenetic overview of Mustelidae and other Caniformia. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 22, 5791.
Ercoli M. D., Álvarez A., Busker F. Morales M. M., Julik E., Smith H. F., Adrian B., Barton M., Bhagavatula K., Poole M., Shahsavan M., Wechsler R. & Fisher R. E. 2016. Myology of the Head, Neck and Thoracic Region of the Lesser Grison (Galictis cuja) in Comparison with the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) and Other Carnivorans: Phylogenetic and Functional Implications. Journal of Mammalian Evolution. Doi: 10.1007/s10914-016-9339-8.
Evans H. E. 1993. Miller's anatomy of the dog. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company.
Evans H. E. & de Lahunta A. 2013. Miller's guide to the dissection of the dog. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company.
Evans H. E. & Quoc An N. 1980. Anatomy of the ferret. In Fox J. G. (ed.) Biology and diseases of the ferret, 1969. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.
Ewer R. F. 1973. The carnivores. New York: Cornell University Press. 500 pp.
Fisher E. M. 1942. The osteology and myology of the California river otter. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 66 pp.
Fisher R. E., Adrian B., Barton M., Holmgren J. & Tang S. Y. 2009. The phylogeny of the red panda (Ailurus fulgens): evidence from the forelimb. Journal of Anatomy 215, 611–35.
Furlong E. L. 1932. A new genus of otter from the Pliocene of the Northern Grait Basin Province. Contributions to palaeontology from Carnegie Institution of Washington 418, 93103.
Gambaryan P. P. 1974. How mammals run. Anatomical adaptations. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 367 pp.
Gazin C. L. 1934. Upper Pliocene mustelids from the Snake River Basin of Idaho. Journal of Mammalogy 15, 137149.
Goethe F. 1964. Das verhalten der musteliden. Handbook of Zoology Berlin 8, 180.
Gorniak G. C. & Gans C. 1980. Quantitative assay of electromyograms during mastication in domestic cats (Felis catus). Journal of Morphology 163, 253–81.
Gossow V. H. 1970. Vergleichende verhaltensstudien an marderartigen I. Über lautau Berungen und zum beuteurhalten. Zeitschrift fur Tierpsychologie 27, 405–80.
Goswami A., Milne N. & Wroe S. 2011. Biting through constraints: cranial morphology, disparity and convergence across living and fossil carnivorous mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London B 278, 1831–39.
Gregg M. 2013. Galictis vittata. Animal Diversity Web. Accessed May 23, 2014 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Galictis_vittata/
Hall E. R. 1926. The muscular anatomy of three mustelid mammals, Mephitis, Spilogale and Martes . University of California Publications in Zoology 30, 739.
Hall E. R. 1927. The muscular anatomy of the American badger (Taxidea taxus). University of California Publications in Zoology 30, 205–19.
Hall E. R. 1951. American weasels, vol. 4. Kansas: University of Kansas Publication, Museum of Natural History.
Heidt G. A. 1972. Anatomical and behavioral aspects of killing and feeding by the least weasel, Mustela nivalis L. Arkansas Academy of Science Proceedings 26, 5354.
Hildebrand M. 1988. Analysis of vertebrate structure. New York: John Wiley & Sons. xvi+701 pp.
Horner A. M. & Biknevicius A. R. 2010. A comparison of epigean and subterranean locomotion in the domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo: Mustelidae: Carnivora). Zoology 113, 189–97.
Karanth K. U. & Sunquist M. E. 2000. Behavioural correlates of predation by tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard (Panthera pardus) and dhole (Cuon alpinus) in Nagarahole, India. Journal of Zoology 250, 255–65.
Kaufmann J. H. & Kaufmann A. 1965. Observations of the behaviour of tayras and grisons. Zeitschrift für Saugetierkunde 30, 146–55.
Kays R. W. 1996. Comments on the behaviour of grison (Galictis vittata) hunting an agouti (Dasyprocta punctata). Small Carnivore Conservation 15, 5.
King C. 1989. The advantages and disadvantages of small size to weasels, Mustela species. In Gittleman J. L. (ed.) Carnivore behaviour, ecology, and evolution, vol. 1, 302–34. London: Chapman & Hall. xiv+620 pp.
King C. M. & Moors P. J. 1979. On co-existence, foraging strategy and the biogeography of weasels and stoats (Mustela nivalis and M. erminea) in Britain. Oecologia 39, 129–50.
King C. M. & Powell R. A. 2007. The natural history of weasels and stoats. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Koslowsky J. 1904. Dos mamíferos de Patagonia cazados en el valle del Lago Blanco (territorio del Chubut). Revista del Museo de La Plata 11, 129–32.
Kurtén B. & Anderson E. 1980. Pleistocene Mammals of North America. New York: Columbia University Press. 325 pp.
Lynch J. M. & Hayden T. J. 1995. Genetic influences on cranial form: variation among ranch and feral American mink Mustela vison (Mammalia: Mustelidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 55, 293307.
Meachen-Samuels J. & Van Valkenburgh B. 2009. Craniodental indicators of prey size preference in the Felidae. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 96, 784–99.
Michener G. R. & Iwaniuk A. N. 2001. Killing technique of North American badgers preying on Richardson's ground squirrels. Canadian Journal of Zoology 79, 2109–13.
Moors P. J. 1980. Sexual dimorphism in the body size of mustelids (Carnivora): the roles of food habits and breeding systems. Oikos 34, 147–58.
Moritz S., Fischer M. S. & Schilling N. 2007. Three-dimensional fibre-type distribution in the paravertebral muscles of the domestic ferret (Mustela putorius f. furo) with relation to functional demands during locomotion. Zoology (Jena, Germany) 110, 197211.
Myers P., Espinosa R., Parr C. S., Jones T., Hammond G. S. & Dewey T. A. 2014. The Animal Diversity Web. Available at http://animaldiversity.org.
Pascual R. 1958. Lyncodon bosei” nueva especie del Ensenadense. Un antecesor del huroncito patagónico. Revista del Museo de La Plata 4, 138.
Prevosti F. J. 2000. Un nuevo resto de †Stipanicicia pettorutii (Carnivora, Mustelidae) del Cuaternario de la provincia de Buenos Aires: implicancias bioestratigráficas. XV Jornadas Argentinas de Mastozoología, Resúmenes, 95.
Prevosti F. J., Teta P. & Pardiñas U. F. J. 2009. Distribution, natural history, and conservation of the Patagonian Weasel Lyncodon patagonicus . Small Carnivore Conservation 41, 2934.
Prevosti F. J. & Pardiñas U. F. J. 2001. Variaciones corológicas de Lyncodon patagonicus (Carnivora, Mustelidae) durante el Cuaternario. Mastozoología Neotropical 8, 2139.
Prevosti F. J. & Soibelzon L. H. 2012. Evolution of the South American carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora). A paleontological perspective. In Patterson B. D. & Costa L. P. (eds) Bones, clones, and biomes: an extended history of recent Neotropical mammals, 102122. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 368 pp.
Quaife L. R. 1978. The form and function of the North American badger (Taxidea taxus) in relation to its fossorial way of life. PhD Thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary.
Radinsky L. B. 1981a. Evolution of skull shape in carnivores: 1. Representative modern carnivores. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 15, 369–88.
Radinsky L. B. 1981b. Evolution of skull shape in carnivores: 2. Additional modern carnivores. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 16, 337–55.
Reig O. A. 1956. Note préliminaire sor un nouveau genre de mustélidés fossiles du pléistocene de la République Argentine. Mammalia 20, 223–30.
Reig O. A. 1957. Un mustélido del género Galictis del Eocuartario de la provincia de Buenos Aires. Ameghiniana 1, 3347.
Reighard J. & Jennings H. S. 1901. Anatomy of the cat. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
Riley M. A. 1985. An Analysis of Masticatory Form and Function in Three Mustelids (Martes americana, Lutra canadensis, Enhydra lutris). Journal of Mammalogy 66, 519–28.
Rood J. P. 1970. Ecology and social behavior of the desert cavy (Microcavia australis). American Midland Naturalist 83, 415–54.
Rowe-rowe D. T. 1978. Comparative prey capture and food studies of South African mustelines. Mammalia 42, 175–96.
Rusconi C. 1932. Dos nuevas especies de Mustélidos del piso ensenadense. Anales de la Sociedad Científica Argentina 113, 4245.
Salesa M. J., Antón M., Turner A. & Morales J. 2005. Aspects of the functional morphology in the cranial and cervical skeleton of the sabre-toothed cat Paramachairodus ogygia (Kaup, 1832) (Felidae, Machairodontinae) from the Late Miocene of Spain: implications for the origins of the machairodont killing bite. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 144, 363–77.
Sato J. J., Wolsan M., Prevosti F. J., D'Elía G., Begg C., Begg K., Hosoda T., Campbell K. L. & Suzuki H. 2012. Evolutionary and biogeographic history of weasel-like carnivorans (Musteloidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63, 745–57.
Scapino R. P. 1968. Biomechanics of feeding in Carnivora. PhD Thesis, University of Illinois, Illinois, USA.
Scapino R. P. 1974. Function of the masseter-pterygoid raphe in carnivores. Anatomischer Anzeiger, Jena 136, 430–46.
Scapino R. P. 1987. Function of the digastric muscle in carnivores. Journal of Morphology 150, 843860.
Schiaffini M. I. & Prevosti F. J. 2013. Trophic segregation of small carnivorans (Carnivora: Mustelidae and Mephitidae) from the Southern Cone of South America. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 21, 407–16.
Schutz H. & Guralnick R. P. 2007. Postcranial element shape and function: assessing locomotor mode in extant and extinct mustelid carnivorans. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 150, 895914.
Slijper E. J. 1946. Comparative biologic–anatomical investigations on the vertebral column and spinal musculature of mammals. Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Nederlandsche Akademievan Wetenschappen, afd. Natuurkunde (Tweede Sectie) 42, 1128.
Soibelzon L. & Prevosti F. J. 2007. Los carnívoros (Carnivora, Mammalia) terrestres del Cuaternario de América del Sur. In Pons G. X. & Vicens D. (eds) Geomorfologia Litoral i Quaternari. Homentage a D. Joan Cuerda Barceló. Monographie de la Societat d'Història Natural de les Balears 12, 512.
Soibelzon L. & Prevosti F. J. 2012. Fossils of South American land carnivores (Carnivora, Mammalia). In Ruiz M. & Shostell J. (eds) Molecular population genetics, evolutionary biology and biological conservation of Neotropical carnivores, 509–30. New York: Nova Science Publisher. 738 pp.
Spoor C. F. & Badoux D. M. 1986. Descriptive and fuctional myology of the neck and forelimb of the striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena, L. 1758). Anatomischer Anzeiger 161, 375–87.
Sunquist M. E., Sunquist F. & Daneke D. 1989. Ecological separation in a Venezuelan lIanos carnivore community. In Redford K. H. & Eisenberg J. F. (eds) Advances in Neotropical mammalogy, 197232. Gainesville: Sandhill Crane Press. 614 pp.
Valenciano A. L, Abella J., Sanisidro O., Álvarez-Sierra M. A. & Morales J. 2013. Functional morphology of skull and mandibles of the Late Miocene giant mustelid Eomellivora piveteaui Ozansoy, 1965 from Cerro de los Batallones (Madrid, Spain). Anatomical Record 296 (Special Feature), 283–84.
Valenciano A. L., Abella J., Sanisidro O., Hartstone-Rose A., Álvarez-Sierra M. Á. & Morales J. 2015. Complete description of the skull and mandible of the giant mustelid Eomellivora piveteaui Ozansoy, 1965 (Mammalia, Carnivora, Mustelidae), from Batallones (MN10), late Miocene (Madrid, Spain). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology doi: 10.1080/02724634.2014.934570.
Vargas A. & Anderson S. H. 1998. Ontogeny of black-footed ferret predatory behavior towards prairie dogs. Canadian Journal of Zoology 76, 16961704.
Verzi D. H. 2002. Patrones de evolución morfológica en Ctenomyinae (Rodentia, Octodontidae). Mastozoología Neotropical 9, 309–28.
Wiig Ø. 1986. Sexual dimorphism in the skull of minks Mustela vison, badgers Meles meles and otters Lutra lutra . Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 87, 163–79.
Williams R. C. 1955. The osteology and myology of the ranch mink (Mustela vison). PhD Thesis, Cornell University, New York.
Wilson D. E. & Mittermeier R. A. 2009. Handbook of the mammals of the world, vol. 1: Carnivores. Barcelona: Lynx Editions.
Woodburne M. O., Cione A. L. & Tonni E. P. 2006. Central American provincialism and the Great American Biotic Interchange. In Carranza-Castañeda O. & Lindsay E. H. (eds) Advances in Late Tertiary Vertebrate Paleontology in Mexico and the Great American Biotic Interchange, 73101. Mexico DF: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Geología y Centro de Geociencias.
Yensen E. & Tarifa T. 2003a. Galictis cuja. Mammalian Species 728, 18.
Yensen E. & Tarifa T. 2003b. Galictis vitatta. Mammalian Species 727, 18.
Zielinski W. J. 2000. Weasels and Martens – Carnivores in Northern Latitudes. In Stenseth N. (ed.) Activity patterns in small mammals, 95118. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of The Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • ISSN: 1755-6910
  • EISSN: 1755-6929
  • URL: /core/journals/earth-and-environmental-science-transactions-of-royal-society-of-edinburgh
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 19
Total number of PDF views: 156 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 296 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 6th January 2017 - 14th December 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.